BO Report: ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ wins as ‘Parasite’ gets a post-Oscar bounce

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ (Photo credit: Paramount Pictures).

Paramount’s live action/CGI adaptation of the Sega video game Sonic the Hedgehog won the weekend derby in Australia while the historic four Oscar wins paid off for Madman Entertainment’s Parasite.

Universal/Working Title’s update of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma and Blumhouse/Sony Pictures’ Fantasy Island inspired by the 1980s TV series both had middling debuts.

Warner Bros’ true-life drama Richard Jewell tanked, another misfire for Clint Eastwood following The Mule and The 15:17 to Paris.

Meanwhile Madman’s The Leunig Fragments, a feature doc from writer-director Kasimir Burgess, had a low-key bow on limited screens and sessions.

The top 20 titles generated $15.6 million, 7 per cent up on the previous frame, according to Numero.

The feature debut of director Jeff Fowler, Sonic the Hedgehog scored $3.8 million on 365 screens. Village Cinemas national film programming manager Geoff Chard rated that as a very solid start, in line with his expectations, observing: “Video game adaptations into motion pictures can be tricky so Paramount would be very pleased with this result.”

Pro-rata that wasn’t as impressive as the $57 million US opening for the adventure comedy starring Jim Carrey, James Marsden and the voice of Ben Schwartz, which was an all-time record for a video game adaptation, beating Legendary/Warner Bros.’ Pokemon: Detective Pikachu.

Warner Bros/DC Comics’ Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn dropped by a reasonable 33 per cent, ringing up $2.6 million in its second weekend. “That shows word-of-mouth is good and the film is better than its opening weekend warranted,” Chard says.

The Cathy Yan-directed superhero movie starring Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Rosie Perez has collected $7.4 million here, a mediocre $42.1 million in the US and $83.6 million internationally.

A model of consistency, Universal’s 1917 advanced to $20.6 million after adding $1.2 million in its sixth. Sam Mendes’ WW1 epic has amassed a lucrative $322.5 million globally.

Directed by first-timer Autumn de Wilde and scripted by New Zealander Eleanor Catton, Emma wooed $1.1 million on 302 screens including previews.

Hayden Orpheum general manager Alex Temesvari said the comedy of manners, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth and Miranda Hart, “opened respectably with numbers suggesting it could have legs for us.”

Starring Michael Peña as the mysterious facilitator of fantasies Mr. Roarke and directed by Jeff Wadlow, Fantasy Island conjured up $1 million on 217, tracking below the $14 million US debut. Still, given the minuscule $7 million production budget, it won’t take long for the fantasy/mystery to recoup.

Sony’s juggernaut Bad Boys for Life reached $17.6 million after collaring $882,000 in its fifth. The cop caper starring Smith and Martin Lawrence, co-directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, has clocked $368 million globally.

‘The Leunig Fragments.’

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite expanded to 100 screens in its 34th weekend, raking in $749,000, which brings the total to $3.8 million.

American moviegoers were not intrigued by Richard Jewell, which stars Paul Walter Hauser as the security guard who was falsely accused by the FBI of planting a pipe bomb in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Games.

So the low turn-out here – $605,000 on 252 screens including previews – was no surprise, despite appealing performances by Hauser, Kathy Bates as Richard’s mother and Sam Rockwell as the shambolic lawyer who defended him.

Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen has banked $13.9 million after adding $423,000 in its seventh for Roadshow.

Word-of-mouth is torpedoing Roland Emmerich’s Midway, which plunged by 50 per cent to $378,000 in its third, delivering almost $3 million for Roadshow.

The Leunig Fragments, which sees cartoonist Michael Leunig reflect on the experiences that have informed his work as he recovered from a near-fatal brain seizure, drew nearly $16,000 on 21 screens and $54,400 including festivals.

The triple punch of the post-Oscar bounce, Valentine’s Day and a wet Saturday saw Cinema Nova’s box office surge by 27 per cent over the prior frame, led by Parasite and Jojo Rabbit.

Emma, Richard Jewell and The Leunig Fragments couldn’t compete amid the post-Oscar interest, with the two studio titles in direct competition with a number of key awards titles,” says Cinema Nova CEO Kristian Connelly.